Jumping into the national Sunday morning talk circuit, Gov. Deval Patrick defended President Barack Obama's budget and tweaked his Republican predecessor, Mitt Romney, with a compliment for his role in crafting health care reform in the Bay State.
Sitting down with a panel of governors on ABC News's "This Week," Patrick said Romney "deserves a lot of credit" for helping to shape the state's 2006 health care reform law, which includes an insurance mandate, that led to an expansion of coverage to more than 98 percent of the state's population.
"One of the best things he did was to be the co-author of our health care reform which has been a model for national health care reform," said Patrick, who was joined by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Romney, who is expected soon to launch a second bid for the White House in a race that he would enter as the early Republican frontrunner for the nomination, has said he is "proud" of health reform in Massachusetts despite his contempt for the national plan modeled after Massachusetts.
Romney signed the universal health care bill during his last year in office after working with Democratic legislative leaders to craft the plan that became a model for the national reform passed last year by Congress.